On the heels of the inauguration of the first biracial American president, the Georgetown University Multi and Biracial Organization is working to create a community on campus open to students of all races.

The club, founded in the 2005-2006 school year, is geared toward bringing together students of multi-racial backgrounds. It held an inauguration-themed party to kick off the semester and celebrate the new biracial presidency. In the past, events have included movie and game nights, potluck dinners and interracial dating discussions.

GUMBO is currently planning its major annual spring event, a bone marrow registration drive that will be co-sponsored by Georgetown’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity. The drive, originally championed by 2006-2007 club president, Karah Salaets (NHS ’08), is an attempt to get more racially diverse people to donate bone marrow, since bone marrow matches typically occur between people with similar ethnic backgrounds, according to Amanda McCafferty (SFS ’10), former GUMBO president.

“As donors, people of color are underrepresented, so patients of those races have harder times finding matches,” McCafferty said.

Therese Miranda (SFS `09), president of GUMBO, said that the club plans to make this event the cornerstone of a week of GUMBO-related activities, from academic lectures to movie nights and interracial dating discussions.

While the club targets multiracial students, it can be relevant for anyone with an interest in race and race-relations, said Alexander Smitham (MSB ’10) , GUMBO’s vice president of finance. Certain events like the interracial dating discussions highlight the club’s relevance for non-racially diverse students.

“Being mixed matters, but so does what mix you are, and you don’t have to be mixed to understand some of the tensions that exist,” Miranda said.

iranda, whose own ethnic background stretches from her white Catholic mother and her Indian Catholic father to a few years spent growing up in Hong Kong, sees the club as a way to talk about issues ranging from questions of mixed identity to the ever-annoying question “What are you?”

“I love the background that I come from and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, but belonging to so many different places and cultures also tends to mean that you feel like you belong to none of them,” Miranda said. “I went to a GUMBO meeting my freshman year and realized that everyone there was talking about the same feelings that I had had.”

“Our unofficial saying about membership is that we welcome everyone because we are everyone,” Miranda said.

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